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Honor Leads Men’s Basketball Past Manhattan in Final Seconds

Fordham+Men%E2%80%99s+Basketball+is+6-1+on+the+season%2C+and+the+Rams+defeated+Manhattan+57-56+on+Saturday.
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Honor Leads Men’s Basketball Past Manhattan in Final Seconds

Fordham Men’s Basketball is 6-1 on the season, and the Rams defeated Manhattan 57-56 on Saturday.

Fordham Men’s Basketball is 6-1 on the season, and the Rams defeated Manhattan 57-56 on Saturday.

Fordham Men’s Basketball is 6-1 on the season, and the Rams defeated Manhattan 57-56 on Saturday.

Fordham Men’s Basketball is 6-1 on the season, and the Rams defeated Manhattan 57-56 on Saturday.


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By Andrew Posadas

It was a stunning finish in the Battle of the Bronx on Saturday, as the Rams won over the Jaspers 57-56 on a late basket.

Freshman Fordham guard Nick Honor held the ball at midcourt with 14 seconds remaining in regulation. Pauly Paulicap’s layup had just given Manhattan College their first lead of the second half. Senior David Pekarek set a screen at the top of the key, freeing Honor to the right. The hopeful Jasper fans immersed Draddy Gym with raucous noise in hopes of psyching out Fordham’s standout freshman.

A quick right-to-left crossover from Honor created enough space to penetrate into the Jasper defense. The game clock read six seconds. The denouement fell on the hands of Fordham’s “Diaper Dandy,” to quote ESPN’s Dick Vitale. Honor pulled up just inside the free throw line, floating a jump shot over two Manhattan defenders while falling away to the left.

Seemingly in unison, Honor dropped onto the court just as his shot splashed through the net. Fordham took a 57-56 lead with 2.6 seconds left to play. A half-court heave by Manhattan sailed over the backboard, leaving Draddy Gym silent. For the second time in three games, a last second, game-winning shot by a freshman helped lift Fordham to victory.

Saturday’s game marked Fordham’s toughest to date. The Jaspers pressured Fordham’s guards relentlessly behind a full court man-to-man defense.

The Rams’ frontcourt was vexed with foul trouble all evening, seeing three big men ultimately foul out. Even with momentum shifting toward Manhattan in the closing minutes, Fordham showed gumption by securing a hard-fought win.

Head coach Jeff Neubauer credited his guard trio of the aforementioned Honor, fellow freshman Jalen Cobb and junior Antwon Portley for keeping their poise throughout.

“There were several areas that we were pleased with in the Manhattan game,” he said. “Our guards ability to handle the full court pressure for 40 minutes was one of them.”

While Honor’s game winning shot steals the headline, the “Honor” of Doc Johnson MVP for the Battle of the Bronx went to fellow backcourt mate Antwon Portley. The junior led Fordham with 14 points, including an efficient four of six from beyond the arc. The junior transfer from Saint Peter’s also showcased his versatility by dropping seven assists and collecting three rebounds. There’s no doubt his veteran presence has helped open up the Rams offense, making play easier for the freshmen duo of Honor and Cobb.

Fordham’s presence on defense is also becoming steadily more visible. Trailing by two at halftime, Fordham limited Manhattan to just 35 percent shooting from the field in the second half. Neubauer enjoyed what he saw on the perimeter defensively, citing the squad’s ability to guard the ball one-on-one as pivotal to Saturday’s outcome. However, Neubauer did point out Fordham’s need to improve their post defense given Manhattan’s success on the boards; the Rams were out-rebounded Fordham 36-27.

The win moved Fordham to 6-1 overall and extended their win streak to five. However, Fordham’s finest lost in double overtime 75-68 to Maine on Tuesday.

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Honor Leads Men’s Basketball Past Manhattan in Final Seconds